'My wife doesn't understand my need to cross-dress'

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Man applying make up_istock
I have been a cross-dresser for years. No one ever knew. I was very careful.

But when on holiday in Las Vegas I stepped out in drag to have a smoke while my wife was gambling on slot machines. When I returned she was in the room. We were face-to-face. She freaked out, even more when she realized the woman was me. She couldn't believe it and refused to talk about it. She wants me to go to counselling and 'get help'.

I appreciate the fact that I was keeping a secret. But for a good reason I knew no one would understand my 'need' to cross-dress. I only do it occasionally and no one gets hurt.

She says if I don't get help she wants to separate. Maybe I should let her go and look for someone who can relate? What should I do?


What do you think about Kelvin's confession? What do you think he should do? Have your say in the Comments section below...

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My now ex wife didn't understand my need to cross dress either, so I would wait for her to go to bed then go out dressed. One night while I was out dressed, I met a guy who offered me a ride home, I told him I was a man & he was cool with that. When we got to my place, he walked me to the door then kissed me on my lips for about 5 minutes. I gave him my phone number so we could go out on a date & went inside. Their was my wife sitting there, she said she seen me kissing that man & asked me if I was gay, I told her no but she didn't believe me. A few days later, my wife insisted that I get dressed up with her help, she styled my hair, arched my eyebrows & pierced my ears. When I was all dressed, I was sitting on the sofa polishing my fingernails with red nail polish when there was a knock on the door, my wife answered it & walked in with the guy I met a couple of days ago. She told me she answered the phone when he called & set up a date with him for me. She had him sit next to me on the sofa then she got her camera & started taking pictures, she told him to kiss me & took some pictures, then had me put my hand down his pants while we kissed & took more pictures. Finally, she had him take out his penis & told me to put it in my mouth which I did, she took pictures until he came in my mouth then had me look at her showing her the cum in my mouth, taking pictures the whole time. She then told us to have a good time on our date & we left. When I returned that night, I found that my wife had removed all of my male clothes & replaced them with womens clothes. She told me that since I wanted to dress like a woman & be with men like a woman I could live all the time as a woman. She then told me she was leaving me & was taking all the pictures she took to her lawyer to show him I was gay. She said I could show up in court dressed as the woman I wanted to be.


The sneaking is the harmful part. If he would have come to you and told you, would you have loved him....or you just determined to hate him. Was he good to you in every other way or did you have marriage problems already. Its hard for me to think the x dressing was the only reason you are unhappy. I have a wonderful marriage but I sat my wife down and told her rather than her finding out with shock. The question you love him. If can be worked out. Good Luck


the need to crossdress usually starts when the person is in the 8-12 yrs of age. mommy is busy, absent or occupied so you grab something of hers for comfort and things roll from there into actually putting on mom's or sis' undies to dresses, heels, and hose. if you would've came out and told her from the start that you enjoyed this maybe she would have accepted it or moved on. you need to have this discussion with her before she leaves you for good. counseling might help but don't count on it. all this does is pit one against the other in a "my way or the highway" attitude, especially when she finds out that she is the problem and not you.


My son whos 32 cross dresses during sex I think, and his ex is threatening to put it all over facebook, she;s black mailing us, she's so obsessed with him, she's happy with what they do. but she has said something awfull, and he doesn't want to hear or see her, so shes; threatening this now, I'm so worried, when he was small some of my underwear disappeared, and he got a ladys shoe catalogue, he doesn't think I know, but theres been clues what should I do?


People can be so ignorant and mean. But you should have been open with her before you got married. She is your life partner, after all. It's sad that in this day and age, we still can't accept people's individuality, especially sexuality. People still look at this as a "sickness" and not as a lifestyle or hobby. As long as no one is being harmed, of course. To the shocked wives: why would you feel offended? Because you would feel embarrassed? That's not being hurt, that's just having esteem issues. To Kevin, I hope everything worked alright with you.


My marriage is ruined because of my husband crossdressing, he went out several times sneakily at night dressed as a woman, i was mortified, what if someone reconised him and told any one? we have kids for gods sake & how was i meant too face people? As it happens he was seen and the people that saw him then snubbed me & later moved house.I think he,s realy selfish and i hate him for what he has done.


kelvin dear some women just cannot come to terms with their partners, little flaws, no matter where or when they come out. if she is adamant then you have to bite the bullet and let her go, but do it on a friendly basis. if this is the case, then find yourself a woman who will welcome you frillies and all. there are more women out there who are looking for men with a more femenine side than you could imagine. i hope you find happiness one way or the other


Give your wife a little space and a lot of credit. Be slow and delay making decisions on your future until you have had an opportunity to think things out. Just because she doesn't understand your need to dress and is a little freaked out doesn't mean she doesn't love you. My spouse also freaked out when she caught me dressed and in her defense I might have done the same thing if the shoe had been on the other foot. Some of my earliest memories good and bad are about my cross-dressing. Much like your wife my wife wanted me to get help and reluctantly I made an appointment with a therapist. As it turns out it was the best thing I had ever did. It didn't lessen my urge to dress but it did help me get past several issues that had been plaguing my life. As an added benefit the couples sessions that we incorporated greatly enhanced the understanding and intimacy in our relationship. The key is to find a therapist who deals with cross-dressing and transsexual issues and to accept the fact that getting in touch with your issues can be quite painful in the beginning. But then again it sounds like if you are considering ending your relationship in an effort to find someone who understands you better then what have you got to loose. I know what your going through and really do wish you the best.


My husband cross dresses and it did upset me when I first found out, but I watched a programme on T.V. which said men cross dress because part of their brain is too big for some reason and causes them to have this desire. Given this fact it is not their fault and it is not bad when you come to accept it, After all, he could come home drunk and beat me up, or go out with other women, but he doesn't. He loves me. After being in a disastrous first marriage where I was beaten, cheated on and kept short of money, I thank my lucky stars that this is his only vice. Maybe Kevin's wife should think of this.

Fellow Crossdresser

I am 40 and have been cross-dressing since I was 19. I lost my first marriage because of it, which was a very painful experience as we had 2 children. If your wife doesn&#226&#128&#153t like it now, there is nothing you can do to change her mind. I had counselling, but that just reinforced the cross-dressing as the advice I got was &#226&#128&#156it ain&#226&#128&#153t a problem unless the person you love don&#226&#128&#153t like what you do. So after we split, I promised myself that the next serious girlfriend would have to know as soon as I had feelings for her. There are 3 women out there now who knows my secret, relationships lost because of my cross-dressing. But I endeavoured and have been with my current partner over 8 years now. She encourages my secret cross-dressing and even buys me nice little surprises to wear. As for my children who are teenagers now, my daughter understands but my son doesn&#226&#128&#153t talk about it, but above all, my children love me as much as I love them. They stay with us all the time. Happy to be able to be me, but there&#226&#128&#153s a lot of pain ahead for you. Trial and error I am afraid. Good Luck.


I really don't mind if my partner cross dresses. i would need assurance that he's not gay and that he still desires me sexually. I think there's more to a person than clothes, and clothes are still clothes they don't define femininity or anything. I wouldn't even mind if he wanted to do it when i'm around, I think i'll like it.. he will be like my ''girlfriend''. I would just hope that he still loves and wants to be with me!!


Nicola - your last comment COULD have been very helpful and useful.. What a shame you couched it in such aggressive terms. I was, until last weekend, the partner of someone who told me that he was a man who cross-dresses, Now he has decided to transition. Your comment "if your partner doesn't understand, screw her. Go find a lesbian" was hurtful and dismissive in the etreme. My ex-partner has struggled for 40 odd years with his sexuality /gender and together we have tried for three and a half years to find some accommodation. It has been a very torrid time with a great deal of heart break and soul-searching along the way - youur final comment made me so angry. Issues like this hurt people and destroy lives and dreams, how dare you be so flippant. I love the man I was with and I know he loves me but we've not been able to accommodate this last huge step. We have both got to come to terms with the great loss we feel. Perhaps you've never encountered love - I hope you will, it may make you a little more understanding and a little less judgemental about those of us who are struggling with this whole issue.


It all depends. If you're transgendered, you should really talk about it to her. My friend is transgendered, but he hassn't come out yet. If so, definately begin transition. You will regret not doing it for the rest of your life. Also, the younger you are, the more successful it will be. If you just derive some kind of pleasure fromm it, go ahead. But I think if it's just a thing you do to relive stress, or you get pleasure from it, I would just go for it. If your partner doesn't understand, screw her. Go find a lesbian. xD love~ Nicola


I haven't been with my partner very long, only about a year, but I found out that he likes to cross dress occasionally. I did find it strange, having never experienced anything like that before, so to start with, I asked him not to do it when I was around, which he was in totaly agreement with. However, once i had come to terms with it a bit more, I grew a bit curious about it, so we discussed it openly and frankly - about why he does it, what pleasure he derives from it, and then eventually leading on to what he actually wears. I found that discussing it openly meant that I could understand why he does it, and made me more comfortable with the whole thing, so much so that I occasionally look at things in shops and think he might like them.... that's one thing he does need help with... his dress sense does leave a lot to be desired sometimes!!


My partner cross-dresses, not for sexual reasons but as way of relieving the stress he feels in his everyday life. For a little while he can be someone else (not necessarily daily). We don't live together but we have agreed that, as I don't want to see him cross-dressed, he will have a couple of nights completely away from me to allow him to do it. I will help in the only way that i currently can (this has all been a big shock) which is to help him experiment with more daring colours and styles when he dresses as a man, he says he wants to break out of the "man in a suit" persona which he has always had. This is something he feels will help. I'm ok with him wearing women's knickers as he says that they are more comfortable. I'm trying to be as understanding and supportive as I currently can be. He does not want to go out dressed as a woman nor does he want to make a full transition from man to woman. This is fortunate for me because I love him dearly and do not want to lose him - he has so many fine qualities and we are mutually supportive. Society has the problem with the roles and the expectations it has of us in the way that we dress, and yes, it is easy for women wanting to cross-dress, as someone has already said, we can do it every day without people passing comment. So my head says one thing but my heart says another - I wish that I wasn't a victim of my conditioning and true, I could force myself to behave differently, ie not mind seeing him in womens underwear and clothing, but I want to look at the man I fell in love with and see him dressed in the way he did when I met him because he looked so gorgeous then. It's as simple as that for me. So I accept his cross-dressing but find myself unable to join in. One way or another though he is still the person I have grown to love. Good luck Kelvin - it is hard for your partner, I know because it was hard for me, but with a bit of understanding and a bit of give and take on both sides maybe you can come through this - I hope so. Perhaps you need couple counselling, not so that you can be counselled out of your need to cross-dress, but so that you can reach some sort of accommodation with each other. All the very best, I hope things work out well for you both.


Bless you Kelvin, it seems your wife maybe has a few issues to deal with - accepting who you are and that it makes you happy. If she cannot, then I think letting her go might be the best solution. Although I can understand that she would be hurt and upset.. I remember my boyfriend crossdressed for Halloween one year, he wore my clothes, and it did freak me out to a certain extent, but if it turned out that he actually liked dressing like that then I wouldn't have a problem, because I love him, and no relationship is all roses and niceness, there are always problems, arguments, dissagreements and yours is about your way of 'opening up' or 'coming out' and you should be you and not someone else for your own sake, otherwise you'll find that you'll be burying your personality to suit someone else, and never truely be happy. All the best sweet xx

Zoe Brain

I never crossdressed. I did transition though. // For some men, it's a sexual thrill - but they tend not to do it in public, For some who are mildly transgendered, it provides psychological comfort. // It can be a sign of a more serious condition though. The evidence is that the cause is congenital, progressive (it gets worse with age), and may require later treatment with hormones, and in extreme cases, surgery and complete transition. It's not something that can be cured through psychotherapy, it's caused by a cross-gendered lymbic nucleus (part of the brain) so "woman trapped in a man's body" while an over-simplification, is close enough. // This is a life-threatening condition, and having the wrong hormonal mix for the brain can cause progressive depression and suicidal ideation - made even worse by he prospect of loss of friends, job, family, everything the patient holds most dear. // So please go see a reputable gender specialist. With luck, it's mild, and won't appreciably worsen, but better safe than sorry. // Now to the immediate problem. I don't know how I'd react if the man I loved cross-dressed. Poorly, I suspect, even though I know the cause. I recommend you both go, as a couple, to see a gender specialist. Not a run-of-the-mill Counsellor, Psychologist, or Psychiatrist, this needs a Specialist. Most mental health and marriage guidance professionals don't have the training to diagnose the problem properly. Hopefully it's not Gender Dysphoria, and they will be able to pass you to a marriage guidance counsellor who can help. // Good Luck to you both. // If you'd like more help, just Google my name, and you'll find out how to contact me.


Kelvin and his wife need to sit down and calmly discuss this need. What if it was here with a need? If she had a need that she was reluctant to tell Kelvin about Kelvin would be wise to be open and listen to her need whenever she finally discussed it regardless of how it came to the surface. And Kelvin's wife would appreciate empathy and compassion about her 'need'. And maybe seeking help from people familiar with gender issues would be helpful. But Kelvin and his wife should know there are support groups in this area. Tri-Ess international has some great links on its site. And LadiesKnightOut is a support group for heterosexual cross dressers that are married or in a commtited relationship. There are a LOT of people like Kelvin out there. Good luck Kelvin to you and to your marriage. It can work!!!

Terry Egan

Kelvin needs to find out where s/he is in this. Is it only a once in a while thing? Or is it a safety valve for a stronger urge? What would s/he be doing if the Mrs. wern't around to put a stopper in the genie's bottle. I know. I'm a Transexual who just crossdressed for years. Finally, I couldn't stand it any more and now I'm transitioning. "Getting Help" will not cure his CDing. Getting help will remove a lot of the guilt that surrounds it. I made my rounds of the Psychrinks as well and to no avail. It's incurable! She will either learn to live with it (it's not so bad) or divorce him now, don't wait. As I said, it's incurable. We don't know what cause it and we don't know what cures it. In my case, it may be some intersexuality. Good Luck to both of them! Regards, Terry


She is the one who needs to see a shrink, women crosdress everyday!


Kevin ~ Some of us can live with only accasional cross dressing. Others of us eventually fully transition to womanhood. I am in the later group. Initally I told my daughter's mom that I as a cross dresser. Why? To save our marriage. Two weeks after she came home and found that I had been dressing, we separated. She told me to get an apartment and figure out who I was. I already knew. For most our marriage ends. Some are able to manage to stay together as one spose is allowed to cross dress. Few marriages survive transition. There must be communications and boundary setting between the spouses. You need time to express your feminine self, she needs time to be with her husband. You all need to see a good therapist together, one familiar with gender issues. If things don't work out, explore your feminity fully, you may come to see separation as a gift. A gift to be yourself. But before you transition, know that you may lose everything that you now hold dear - family, job, home and companionship. I know from experience. I can be a very lonely path. However it is a path I'm glad I took. (And please, stop smoking. If you do decide to go on hormones at some future date your doctor will request this.) Blessings for both you and your wife, Gillian

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